The Leader’s Moment

A vezérperc

“... Become the one originating things:
your own stunt double. Undertake the assault.
Fail; sacrifice your blood for the time being.
Don’t show your teeth. Keep their gold in a vault.

Wear suits from England. Get your hair well pruned.
Speak languages: multi-Chinese each one.
Tomorrow, shun those who today shake your hand:
ready to turn your back on anyone.

As long as you’ve a goal in mind, you’ll reach it
even by fishing in a dried-up lake.
Some tricky soccer footwork, some gestures in your speeches,
a few prize women in the conference break—

meanwhile, observe how ebb is overwhelmed by flow,
the people’s fear of blood is vanquished by their hunger for it;
think of the nation, its elite lost through the domino
principle, falling into your lap. And then you bow before it ...”

Translated by David Hill




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